Yes, I’ve re-launched Marvel Mondays to help me get through the stacks and stacks of Marvel Legends figures that are piling up around here. By my reckoning I’m now a little more than halfway through the Allfather Wave and I’ve got the Thanos Wave headed to me as we speak. Today we’re looking at Dr. Abel Stack’s pride and joy… Machine Man, or if you prefer his given name… Z2P4… wait… Z42P… Ah, screw it. He’s Machine Man! This is one of those characters that I rarely ever encountered in my meanderings through the Marvel funnybooks. I know about him only from my love of Jack Kirby and that he originally appeared in Marvel’s 2001: A Space Odyssey comic, but it’s been decades since I’ve actually read anything he appeared in.
Just like with Captain Marvel and Scarlet Witch, Machine Man shares his slot with another character, in this case Sentry. As a result, Machine Man’s name only appears on the back of the package. On the front this package simply proclaims “Avenging Allies.” I would take issue at the suggestion that Machine Man carries the same Avengers gravitas as Sentry, but then it’s just printing on a package that I’m going to throw away anyway, so what difference does it make? On the other hand, there’s absolutely no bio or blurb about the character, and I have to assume that this guy is going to be an unknown to most casual comic fans. MM is not a particularly large figure, but when you pack in his two interchangeable arms and the two BAF parts, the tray fills out quite nicely.
Straightaway, Machine Man feels a little cheap in hand. The elbow hinges are rather gummy and while his hip joints will support the figure with no problems, the torso will flop all over if you hold him by his legs and shake him. The costume is comprised of a generic buck with metallic purple and silver paint. The only original piece of sculpting from the waist down is the belt, which hangs loose around his waist. There are some rather pronounced seam lines on the figure too. I’m guessing the shaky feel of the figure has a lot to do with the plastic they had to use to get that nice glossy sheen. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t stand up to some of the other figures in the wave.
The portrait is quite well sculpted and the design screams Jack Kirby’s handiwork. The angular contours of the helmet around his “flesh” look great, as do the pronounced red eyes.
Articulation is everything I’ve come to expect from this line. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and feature swivels both in the thighs and at the tops of the boots. The ankles are hinged and feature lateral rockers. The torso swivels at the waist, has an ab-crunch hinge, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.
In addition to the two BAF parts, Machine Man comes with two extended arms that can replace his fists. The extentensions are made out of bendible plastic that will more or less hold their shape, which makes for some fun play value.
While the quality feel of this figure is a little questionable, I can’t bring myself to hate on Machine Man. He looks great, just oozes that lovely Kirby charm, and the extended hands are a great addition to what is a super fun action figure. I also can’t deny how wonderful it is that Hasbro is willing to deliver characters like this to the mainstream pegs of the Big Box retailers, rather than just pack the shelves with the A-listers. Next Monday, we’ll check out the other one of the “Avenging Allies,” Sentry!